13 defensive errors contribute to team ‘giving the games away’
By: CHRISTIAN HARGAS
The STLCC Lady Archers softball team lost both games of a double-header against the Waubonsee Community College Chiefs on Saturday, Mar. 26, at the Meramec campus. The Lady Archers were defeated, 4-3, in game one followed by an 8-7 loss in the second contest.
The Lady Archers’ defense committed 13 errors on the day. The errors on the field were one of a few contributing factors that led to the losses, Head Coach Shawn Summe said.
“I mean [in the first game], we gave up zero earned runs, they [Waubonsee] scored on errors,” Summe said. “I thought we gave it away more than they earned it. I thought Tiffany pitched really well and deserved the win. I also thought we had some quality at-bats, we were hitting the ball really well. I thought we gave the second game away too.”
Sophomore starting pitcher Tiffany Link pitched seven full innings in game one, gave up zero earned runs on seven hits, and struck out two of the 33 batters faced. Sophomore infielder Abbey Holtkamp hit a two-run home run in the bottom of the third inning. Being prepared during every at-bat is instrumental to being successful at the plate, Holtkamp said.
“During every at-bat, my coach always tells me to have a plan,” Holtkamp said. “During that at-bat, I was looking for the first pitch right there and it was where I thought it would be. I just swung and luckily it carried over the fence.”
Holtkamp’s home run in game one was cause for optimism, Summe said.
“At that point, I thought we were going to put them [Waubonsee] away and this was going to be a good way to start,” Summe said. “But it just did not happen.”
Freshman shortstop Liz Miller led the team with three hits and four runs in the second game. Miller’s hit in the bottom of the fourth inning allowed for more scoring opportunities, Summe said.
I was happy for her because she needed it, she needed the confidence building,” Summe said. “We got it rolling after that, we scored four runs in that inning and that kind of opened some flood gates to score some runs.”
The team’s offense appeared to be clicking during the two games, but the defense was the main problem, Sophomore outfielder/infielder Sarah Hillis said.
“I felt that offensively, we hit the ball very well today,” Hillis said. “Defensively, however, we need to work a little bit more at staying down on the ball and working more on routine plays. Overall, I did not think it was a bad day, but the errors have got to stop.”
The Lady Archers had opportunities to score during both games, but missed on some of those opportunities. It is just something that is part of the game and it happens, Summe said.
“Sometimes, it happens and sometimes it does not happen,” Summe said. “Sometimes, we put the ball in play really well and they just made good plays. At times, we just did not come through. You just expect them to do it later. There is a lot of game left and you have to have that mentality of ‘she got me this time, I will get her next time’.”
Sophomore pitcher Katie Brinegar got the start during game two and allowed one earned run through three innings. Inconsistent movement of pitches was a contributing factor to the frustrating start, Brinegar said.
“Well, I had movement,” Brinegar said. “But it was just not working at the times I wanted it to work.”
A few good looking pitches not getting called by the umpire also contributed to the frustration, Brinegar said.
“My curveball was working really well, I was really proud of it,” Brinegar said. “I had really good movement with it and would have been perfect right on the line, but she [umpire] did not call it and that was very frustrating.
With six defensive errors in the first game and seven in the second, feeling like they gave the games away, the team still feels confident in their abilities to make the necessary adjustments, Summe said.
“It is not easy, but the goal is to be better at the end of the year,” Summe said. “We will get back this week and go from there. There is a lot of season left and we are not worried, we just have to refocus and get some people going in the right direction.”
“We just need to make sure that if we make mistakes, we need to come back from it and not hang our heads and give up,” Holtkamp said. “We just have to keep trying and get the next one.”
The Lady Archers just have to be able to pick each other up when they are down, Hillis said.
“If they make an error, you have to be able to go up to them and say ‘it is alright, you will get the next one’,” Hillis said. “Just try your hardest and keep everyone as upbeat as possible. Once we get everybody moving in the right direction, we will be unstoppable.”